Stanley Hand Drill - No. 748 / 748A

stanley hand drill 748
Our Rating

Stanley 748 / 748A Drill Review By: I.Ball

Category: Old Drills

Manufacturer: Stanley

Tool Type: Breast Drill

Model No: 748 / 748A


The Stanley 748 breast drill changed model number to 748A somewhere between 1960's to early 1970's (I'm trying to pin down a more exact date).

The Stanley breast drill 748 / 748A is a large hand drill fitted with a hardwood side handle, a winder with a hardwood handle and a shaped breast plate.

The shaped breast plate is designed to be positioned comfortably at the top of the chest, usually around the nipple area but wherever is comfortable and stable.

This positioning of the drill against the body allows extra exertion to be applied while maintaining good control. This control is further assisted by holding the side handle to help maintain stability.

stanley hand drill 748 / 748A

The Stanley breast drill 748 was advertised as ' "Continental" enclosed gears - two speed'. The 748A was later advertised as an 'Engineer's Breast Drill'.

The gears on the Stanley 748 / 748A are hidden inside the central case to help ensure the internal mechanism is kept clean and dry and as such the gears should remain rust free. This feature is designed to keep the tool working efficiently throughout its long life.

The 748 / 748A hand drill has the option of two different speeds available at its disposal. The drill can operate with gear ratio 7.2-1 or 2.33-1. The two different gear ratios cater for drilling into different materials with different drill sizes.

The chuck has three internal jaws which lock onto drill bits with a shank diameter of 0" - 1/2".

stanley drill 748 / 748A

Once the drill piece is locked in place, the drill is operated by repeatedly turning the cranked arm round and round.

This hand powered drill is particularly useful as a back-up for situations where there is no power for power tools or when the battery packs of a power tool have run out.

The Stanley 748 / 748A drill is finished with a grey hammer and black enamel with the Stanley name running down the central case.

The 748 breast drill was originally the most expensive of the hand drills and breast drills.

Drill Dimensions

Overall Length: 452mm (17 3/4 inch)

Manufactured Dates

1958 - 1993>

Your Say..

Ljotulfson - I purchased one of these back in the early 1980s and have a STANLEY March 1st 1993 Tool Catalogue with the prices at that time. It retailed at £77.62 (List Price) £91.20 RRP (inc. VAT).

In the accompanying photograph it has a keyed chuck which also appears in the Garret Wade book of Tools published in 2001. It's a great hand drill to have around in the workshop and can be obtained easily from sellers on ebay at bargain prices compared to the £35.00 price I had to pay thirty odd years ago!


Ljotulfson - I'm restoring an original 748 from the the 1960s and see it was numbered as such in the 1964 Buck & Hickman Tool Catalogue.


Brian - I presently have a Stanley 748A drill, which I acquired after my father passed away. Although I have two corded 1/2" electric drills and a 3/8" cordless, I find it's often best for quickness when doing one or a couple of holes to use the Stanley hand drill, and of course, very far away from any electrical outlet!


(i) This review/article may give warning(s) / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines given in good faith, any such information should not be solely relied upon and seen as the exhaustive list of warnings / advisory notes / cautions / guidelines. Refer to good safety practices for the safety of you and others. Refer to good practices for the good health of your tool and property.
(ii) The details here are given in good faith, the details are constantly growing and evolving including corrections, there is scope for error and shouldn't be fully relied upon, please confirm any details for yourself by performing additional research from reliable sources.

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